Guatemala’s attorney general is removed after corruption allegations

By : The New York Times

MEXICO CITY – Guatemala’s constitutional court has removed the nation’s embattled attorney general, appearing to head off a growing political crisis in a country besieged by organized crime and corruption.

In its ruling Thursday, the court did not directly address accusations that Attorney General Conrado Reyes had links to organized crime but said the ruling was necessary so that “illegal groups” could not “harm the constitutional process” that led to his selection.

Since he was appointed attorney general May 25, Reyes had faced questions over his past. On Monday, the head of a U.N. panel charged with fighting corruption and impunity in Guatemala resigned in frustration, citing the appointment of Reyes, who he said had links to drug traffickers and illegal adoption rings.

Reyes has denied the charges but said he would abide by the court’s ruling.

President Álvaro Colóm, who appointed Reyes, said he was “satisfied” with the ruling.

The court ruled that the committee that prepared the list of nominees for the appointment had not followed proper procedure and suggested that the selection process might have been influenced by organized crime.

Colóm said that the departing chief of the U.N. anti-corruption panel, the Spanish Judge Carlos Castresana, had presented him with evidence against Reyes. The evidence did not prove any wrongdoing by Reyes, Colóm said, but involved people surrounding him who would have raised “tremendous doubts” about his selection.

Courtesy of : The New York Times    Send article as PDF   

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